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Personal Injury

Have You Been Bitten by a Dog? Know Your Rights

January 29, 2021

Hundreds of people are seriously injured and even killed in dog attacks every year. Young children and the elderly are especially at risk. If you’ve been injured in a dog attack, it’s important to understand that you have rights and may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. A Billings personal injury attorney can help you navigate the claim process so that you can get the compensation you deserve. 

Strict Liability Under Montana Law

Most personal injury cases require that you prove the responsible party was negligent in some way – that they failed to take due care to avoid causing harm to others. Some states have a “one-bite” rule that allows you to hold the dog’s owner liable if they had previously bitten someone or they knew the dog had aggressive tendencies. 

Thankfully, Montana does not have a one-bite rule or require that you prove the dog’s owner was somehow negligent. Instead, owners are held strictly liable for any injuries caused by their dog. However, there are a couple of exceptions that are worth noting: 

  1. You did not provoke the dog 
  2. You were not trespassing on the owner’s property

What Damages Can You Seek to Recover in Montana?

If you have been injured in a dog attack, you can seek recovery for the following losses: 

  • Any and all medical expenses, including copays and deductibles if you have health insurance
  • Any lost income due to missed work to receive medical treatment
  • Your pain and suffering caused by the attack

Many dog attack victims experience severe anxiety or even post-traumatic stress disorder. You may be able to seek compensation for any psychological trauma you have suffered in addition to your physical injuries. A Billings personal injury attorney can review your case and determine which damages you may be entitled to seek. 

A Billings Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You Face The Challenges of Dog Bite Cases

You might think that dog bite cases are easy to prove since they are strict liability cases – after all, dog bites are usually pretty obvious. Unfortunately, that is not the case. The dog’s owner may raise the following defenses: 

  • You provoked the dog by teasing it or behaving aggressively toward the dog or its owner; or
  • You were trespassing on private property.

Also, the dog’s owner may claim that you weren’t as seriously injured as you claim. They may try to argue that the medical treatment you received was unnecessary or unreasonable or that you aren’t entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering. This is why it’s important to work with an experienced Billings personal injury attorney – they can help you build a strong case so that you can get the compensation you need. 

Injured in a Dog Attack? Contact a Billings Personal Injury Attorney Today

At Ragain & Clark, we have decades of experience helping injured people get the compensation they need. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can help put your injury behind you. Call us at 406-651-8888 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. 

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